The Tragedy of Julius Caesar Omens and Superstitions

In Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar many omens and superstitions prominently appear throughout the play. Examples are the Feast of Lupercal, Calphurnia’s dream, the Soothsayer, and the strange occurrences described at the end of act 1.

The Feast of Lupercal is a celebration based of superstitions and some religious views. The Goddess Pan is celebrated heavily during this time. In act 1, Caesar wants his wife; Calphurnia to be touched by Antonio in the run so that she can conceive children.

This superstition is very important since Calphurnia cannot bear Caesar’s children. Since it is such a big superstition, females who can’t conceive or bear children usually attend this feast so they can be touched by a participant to then bear children. Also, the Feast represents negative bound energy. Goddess Pan, queen of fertility and repellent of negative energy. “Forget not in your speed, Antonio, To touch Calphurnia; for our elders say, The barren, touched in this holy chase, Shake off their sterile curse.

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” (I.ii.8-11)

In act 2, Calphurnia, complains to Caesar of her dream. Calphurnia begs him not to go to the senate that day because she feels that her dream was more of a premonition than a dream and she felt something bad was going to happen. She dreamt that she saw his statue pouring out blood and with all the Romans kneeling bathing themselves in his blood praising that he is dead. Then, Decius later comes and disproves that reasoning to Caesar, he wants Caesar to go to the senate that day.

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Decius explains to Caesar that Calphurnia misinterpreted her dream and that her dream actually meant love and loyalty from the Romans. Decius, who is apart of the conspirators against Caesar, was successful in getting Caesar to agree to go back to the senate for his crowning. Calphurnia’s dream had to be the biggest omen throughout the play. “Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home: She dreamt tonight she saw my statue, Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts, Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans Came smiling and did bathe their hands in it.”  (II.ii.75-79)

The Soothsayer carries out an important role during the play. He is constantly warning Caesar of the “Ides of March.” He feels that Caesar is in soon danger, which is why he repeatedly remarks “Beware the Ides of March.” The Soothsayer is another big role in with the omens in the play, his warning doesn’t scare Caesar off, it isn’t until Calphurnia’s dream wear Caesar gets warry. After, Caesar left the square in act 1 he paid no mind to the Soothsayers warning and carried on regularly. Even though, Caesar first ignored his warning the Soothsayer did not stop at warning Caesar, he knew what the future held. “A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of march.” (I.ii.19)

Throughout the play plenty of omens occur. With these omens the people of Rome are frantic as to why all these events are happening. Months and days leading up to Caesar’s death, the Romans get more suspicious of the “Ides of March.” In the square, an omen is present which is a man’s burning hand. The man was burning yet not dying it sent a shock to the Roman people. In the square, lions roam the streets frightening everyone in the streets. Nearing Caesar’s death, the sacrificial lamb had no heart. It was strange because in order for them to officially sacrifice the lamb they needed the heart, but it had none. It’s not common to have a lamb with no heart. “. . . Men, all in fire, walk up and down the steers. And yesterday the bird of the night did sit Even at noon-day upon the market-place, Howting and shrieking.” (I.iii.25-28)

In conclusion, the omens and superstitions make the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar more interesting, with all the strange occurrences that are prominently made throughout the play.

Works Cited

  1. Shakespeare, William, and Israel Gollancz. Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Julius Caesar. London: J.M. Dent, 1896. Print.
  2. SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2015.
  3. William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz. M-G-M Presents, 1953. DVD.

Cite this page

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar Omens and Superstitions. (2022, Jan 10). Retrieved from

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